Bad Rollout

Only two Astros players stole 10 or more bases last season – name the two?

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley’s nomination is on hold. All Commentary can say is that he botched it. Shot himself in the foot. Took a dump in his office and then rolled around in it. You get the picture. Rolling out the voter purge initiative before he gets confirmed – he is either a dumbarse or doesn’t know how to count to two thirds. Commentary would have loved to have been that fly on the wall when they were discussing rolling this out. Where were the grown-ups? Wait until after you are confirmed before you roll out something this controversial. Duh? Of course, unless he is really auditioning for a gig in the Donald Trump administration.

Here is a related Trib article: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/02/21/texas-senate-democrat-secretary-of-state-david-whitley-jose-rodriguez/.

Go Texan Day is today, I guess. I get it.

Jose Altuve stole 17 bases last season and Alex Bregman stole 10 of course.

Have a nice rodeo!


I’m Sorry?

Former Texas House Speaker Joe Straus attended Alamo Heights High School. Name the top pitching prospect for the Astros who also attended Alamo Heights High?

I think H-Town’s reasonable minds will agree that Houston Police Officers Union (HPOU) president Joe Gamaldi crossed the line with his remarks after the botched HPD drug raid three weeks or so ago. Today, the Chron E-Board called for Gamaldi to apologize for his remarks.  Here is from the E-Board’s take today:

Confidence in the Houston Police Department took a hit as a result of that botched drug raid, and Gamaldi’s comments only made things worse.

The people of Houston deserve a police department they can trust to protect and serve. Police officers deserve a union head who has their backs — and that means working to improve community trust rather than undermining it.

Gamaldi has failed them in that respect, and he now has the responsibility to apologize. Doing so will help rebuild confidence in HPD. If he can’t do that, then our police deserve a new union leader — one who understands that backing the blue means building trust, too.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Divisive-rhetoric-by-police-union-president-13632307.php.

If Gamaldi was representing a far-right wing faction of the GOP, I wouldn’t expect him to apologize. But he is not. He is representing the women and men of the Houston Police Department who put their lives on the line every day protecting the folks from H-Town, the most diverse city in the world. HPOU is a respected organization. An apology would work.

Astros top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley attended Alamo Heights High School of course.

Spring Training baseball gets underway tomorrow.

Prop B ….

Brady Rodgers will be the starting pitcher for the Spring Training opener this weekend. He is 28 years old and has only 8 1/3 innings of big league pitching. When did we draft him?

Here is a question.  Can I watch CNN while at the same time not respect them?

The legal stuff surrounding Prop B was discussed at the H-Town City Council meeting today. No doubt Prop B will be an issue in the municipal elections this year. Firefighters are going to make sure of this. I guess folks are going to have to pick a side.  You can’t avoid it.

I got this yesterday on the Mayor’s press conference on potholes.

Bill Kelly‏ @billkellytexas 6h6 hours ago

Replying to @MarcCommentary
FYI the press conference had to be pushed back because of the Mayor’s schedule. In no way related to the ABC 13 report.

That works.

Brady Rodgers was taken in the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

Patience, patience, patience.

Short Take

Marwin Gonzalez has been wearing the number 9. Who wore it before Marwin?

Commentary said this yesterday:

I am sure the folks at H-Town City Hall didn’t think too much of the Channel 13 story on potholes on Friday. There has been a drop off in the number of potholes being filled.

The H-Town Mayor held a press conference yesterday to address potholes. Here is a bit from the Chron today:

The press conference was an attempt to resurrect interest in his administration’s pothole program, Turner said, as well as challenge Public Works to double the number of long-term street panel replacements it conducts each year. He deflected questions about whether the goal also was to respond to criticism from media reports and mayoral challenger Bill King, who has argued the city is failing to address worsening street conditions.

Here is the entire article:

I would not have held a press conference – period.

Commentary dropped by my good friend Nick Hellyar’s campaign for H-Town City Council, District C kickoff yesterday evening. A lot of folks were there. Nice job.
Commentary lives in District C.

Hunter Pence of course wore the number 9 before Marwin.

Nothing else from The Yard.

What If

Last season, 12 MLB pitchers pitched 200 or more innings, how many were Astros?

Here is from yesterday’s Chron:

Lawyers for Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner filed a motion Friday afternoon seeking to declare Proposition B invalid, contending the voter-approved referendum supporting pay parity for firefighters violates Texas law.

The move is the latest in an extended legal battle between the city and firefighters over the November ballot measure requiring the city to pay firefighters the same as police of equal rank and seniority.

Though Proposition B passed more than three months ago with 59 percent voter approval, the city has yet to begin paying firefighters more — a delay that has sown frustration among the fire union despite Turner’s assurance that his administration is ironing out the details.

“This is what the mayor means when he claims three months after the election that he is working to ‘implement’ Prop B,” fire union President Marty Lancton said Friday in a statement. “Once again, he is defying the will of 292,000 voters.”

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/houston/article/Turner-s-lawyers-move-to-declare-Prop-B-invalid-13621513.php?src=hp_totn.

I think it was actually 298,000 voters if you add in the ones from Fort Bend County.

I went and looked at the results again for Harris County and the City of Houston for November 6. In most of the countywide judicial races, there was a 3% drop off or under votes, as compared to the 1% to 1.5% for the U.S. Senate and statewide races at the top of the ballot. For Prop B, there was a 13% under vote, and that was at the very end of the ballot. Some folks have been saying that folks didn’t know what they were voting for when they voted for Prop B, that they were just showing their support for the firefighters. Even though there were a few hundred thousand dollars spent against. Commentary is kind of one who doesn’t like to show disrespect to the voter, that they know what they are doing. What if they did know that by voting for Prop B, the City of H-Town would have to find the $100 million for firefighters and if cuts had to be made, so be it. Maybe the 13% who under voted, didn’t understand it, but the 87% that did, actually knew what they were voting for. I am sure somebody will debunk my what if-ism by coming forward with a recent poll that asks H-Town voters if they were aware that a vote for Prop B meant $100 million in cuts.

I am sure the folks at H-Town City Hall didn’t think too much of the Channel 13 story on potholes on Friday. There has been a drop off in the number of potholes being filled.

On the botched raid in Pecan Park, from Day 1, folks, including some in the media, had questions. Who said there were “crazy conspiracy theories” and guaranteed that “we got the right house?” Thank goodness for those that had questions. It is always good to question.

Yesterday, the Chron E-Board had a take on the raid.

In the #TXHD145RunoffSpecialElection, our opponent has a doorhanger without any photos. Got it? We got pictures on ours. Oh, well.

Justin Verlander with 214 innings pitched, Dallas Keuchel with 204 2/3, and Gerrit Cole with 200 1/3 were the three Astros of course.

Check this article from the Boston Globe on the Red Sox who will and won’t visit 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The world champion Red Sox’ visit to the White House, scheduled for May 9 after the team plays a series in Baltimore, projects to be an awkward affair as we continue to get feedback regarding who plans to go and who plans to skip the event.
In November, days after the Sox won the World Series, manager Alex Cora initially said he would go to the White House with the team. Cora backed away from that pledge when he came to Boston in late January. Saturday morning here, the manager said he’s still undecided.

An unfortunate byproduct of winning a championship in any professional sport is the inevitable controversy around the traditional visit to the White House, this being Donald Trump’s White House.

The Globe’s Peter Abraham has polled 22 players regarding their intentions:
Players who plan to attend (12): Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Brock Holt, Brian Johnson, Mitch Moreland, Chris Sale, Blake Swihart, Steve Pearce, Nathan Eovaldi, Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Sandy Leon.

Players who said they would probably attend (one): Rick Porcello.
Players who said they would not attend (four): Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, Hector Velazquez.
Players who said they are undecided (five): Eduardo Nunez, Xander Bogaerts, David Price, Christian Vazquez, Eduardo Rodriguez (two of these players off the record said they were not going).
Here’s the unfortunate and awkward math: Twelve of the 13 players who have pledged to visit the president are white. Including manager Cora, all 11 of the nos and undecideds are persons of color.
I ran the Globe’s unofficial poll numbers past Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy here on Saturday morning and asked him if management is worried about the awkwardness of white Red Sox players pledging to go to Washington while persons of color might not be making the trip.
“Of course,’’ answered Kennedy. “It’s a difficult issue, but we wanted to stay consistent with making this opportunity available to the players. This is for them. It’s not about ownership or the front office. It’s about the players and giving them the ability to be recognized for a World Series championship. We’ve done it regardless of administrations or specific politicians. We’ve done it three times now. Twice under [George W.] Bush, once under [Barack] Obama, and we really need to be above politics here and allow our players this opportunity if they want. We’ve been consistent all along. It’s not a mandatory trip, but we see it as and honor and we’re going to give the players who want to go an opportunity to go.
“We don’t have a final RSVP list. This is the first chance people have to be together and talk about it. We’ve extended the invitation to the players and we’ll get a final RSVP list.’’
Does Kennedy have any concern that this could split the famously cohesive team?
“I don’t think so,’’ he said. “I think this is a really tight group, demonstrated by what they achieved together last year. I certainly hope not.’’
Same for Cora.
“No,’’ said Cora. “This week all the talk has been about getting ready and repeating. The work ethic is there. We don’t talk about [the White House trip] in the clubhouse. [Sox management] made it clear that it’s optional. Whoever wants to go, goes. And whoever doesn’t want to go, get on a plane and go to Boston. We don’t even talk about it.’’
Cora is from Puerto Rico, an unincorporated US territory that has strained relations with President Trump. The Sox manager did not attend the Houston Astros’ trip to the White House in the spring of 2018 (Cora was already managing the Red Sox at the time). He disputed the notion that he’s under pressure from back home to skip the Washington event.
“In my case, I’ve got my reasons to be undecided,’’ said Cora. “So, whatever. Everybody has their reasons. That’s the beauty of this clubhouse. We respect everybody’s opinions and everybody’s beliefs. For me, it’s not a big deal.’’
Does Kennedy worry that the Sox are putting their manager in an awkward spot regarding his decision to attend?
“No,’’ he said. “I think that Alex will make his decision and we will respect whatever decision he makes.’’
Asked if he believed the Washington trip might be a distraction to the 2019 Red Sox, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said, “None at all. Whatever they want to do. It’s an easy one for us, too, there. We’re playing Baltimore on the 8th [of May]. There’s a plane going back for whomever doesn’t want to go, and whoever wants to stay, on the 9th, we’ve got a plane for them.’’
Visits to the White House by championship teams have been controversial since President Trump took office. The president rescinded an invitation to the Philadelphia Eagles when many players said they did not plan to attend after the Eagles beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl in February 2018. When quarterback Tom Brady abruptly pulled out of the Patriots’ visit to the White House in the spring of 2017, President Trump made no mention of Brady’s contributions during the ceremony on the South Lawn. The outspoken Golden State Warriors were not invited to the White House after winning the 2018 NBA title.
This is the America we live in today. And in their time of triumph, not even the feel-good Red Sox are spared.

Local Racial Divide

When the Astros and Yankees played at The Yard in the Inaugural Game back on March 30, 2000, how many then future Hall of Famers played that evening?

Where is H-Town’s grown-ups? Commentary is talking about the racial divide over at the HISD Board of Education. This is 2019 in the country’s most diverse city and we are dealing with this crap? Sorry folks, we can’t be celebrating our diversity while allowing this crap to go on. Here is from today’s Chron:

Houston ISD’s pursuit of a permanent superintendent will continue after trustees rejected a motion Thursday to suspend the search amid a recently launched state investigation into potential violations of open meetings laws.

Trustees voted 5-3 to continue the search for a permanent leader to replace former superintendent Richard Carranza, who left the district in March 2018 to become chancellor of New York City public schools. Three trustees who favored suspending the effort argued the district cannot attract qualified candidates with the looming threat of sanctions tied to the state investigation, while the five opponents argued the district should push forward despite the inquiry.

“I promised my community that I would do a superintendent search, and that’s what I’m following.” said HISD Board President Diana Dávila, who voted against suspending the search.

And this:

The three trustees who supported suspending the search — Wanda Adams, Jolanda Jones and Rhonda Skillern-Jones — have all advocated for permanently retaining Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, arguing she has proven her ability to lead the district.

And then this:

“I cannot imagine that a highly qualified candidate who is rational and sane would come here in the face of uncertainty, when they may not have a job soon,” Skillern-Jones said.

The five trustees who voted against the motion Thursday — Dávila, Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca, Sergio Lira, Elizabeth Santos and Anne Sung — have pushed for a nationwide search. Trustee Sue Deigaard, who previously supported giving Lathan a short-term contract and simultaneously conducting a nationwide search, abstained from Thursday’s vote, telling her colleagues she is “not going to be part of this divide anymore.”

“We all need to figure this out and not continue to be divisive on this subject,” Deigaard said.

Here is the entire piece on this crap: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/HISD-trustees-vote-to-continue-superintendent-13618448.php?src=hp_totn.

Someone I respect told me the other day that Deigaard just ought to step forward and call for TEA to step in immediately.

It’s 2019 and this is going on.  This is a sad.

I sure hope Amazon doesn’t come to H-Town and try to pull a fast one on us.

Hall of Fame greats Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell played in the 2000 Inaugural Game of course. Do did Derek Jeter and he will get into the Hall of Fame soon. The Rocket also played and maybe he will get in too.

Spring Training is happening.

More School Days

Parkland was one year ago today. Remember.

It looks like CraftPAC and the Beer Alliance have struck a deal. The Wholesale Beer Distributors are not on board yet though. Still, it is progress. I wonder if a twelve-pack from the brewery will be cheaper than at Spec’s?

There is a discussion about extending the school year in our public schools. As someone told me yesterday, good thing school kids don’t vote. I replied that some high school seniors do, but they don’t give a rat’s arse because this is their last year. The only problem I have with the extended school year is extended school zone speed limits.

Does this mean that summer will only last a month?

For the #TXHD145RunoffSpecialElection there will once again be five Early Vote in Person locations. Only five days of Early Voting in Person though – that’s the law.

Are Harris County Dems supposed to have a discussion on whether or not to support more assistant DAs that District Attorney Kim Ogg wants or are we supposed to be silent? We elected her a few years ago. Or are we supposed to support the Dems on Commissioners Court who turned down her request? Or are we expected to sit on the sidelines? That’s not our nature folks.

I wonder if there is room to compromise.

I wonder if restaurants will be crowded this evening.

Have a nice Valentine’s Day!